12/8/12: The Group Text

In 2012 the Doyle family ushered in a new age of interfamilial communication: the group text.

Our group texts are so epic and yet so exclusively our own. It’s been cool to see how we maintain our group identity despite the various paths life has taken us as individuals.

12/7/12: Love Does

Bob Goff wrote a book called “Love Does,” and it’s all about following through on crazy ideas that are motivated by love. Crazy Ideas. Ideas about starting parades in his neighborhood, attaching children to thousands of balloons, prosecuting Ugandan warloards, and then be-friending the incarcerated warloards.

Bob’s life has been defined by hearing God whisper, “Hey, let me show you something…” or “Hey what if we…” and to me, those are the moments I want to be paying attention to because an crazy journey inevitably follows.

If you didn’t become a Bob Goff fan in 2012, fear not! There a still a few weeks for you to board the train.

12/6/12: Confession

2012 was the first year in my life where really I had to come clean with people that I dearly love. There was a part of my life that couldn’t heal until I owned it out loud. So one day in February I made a lot of tough phone calls, one right after the other.

It was raw and ugly, but by the end of it, God unleashed a type of beauty that I’d never experienced before. A beauty that comes through painful honesty and grace-filled restoration.

12/5/12: Fairness

You can’t be fair with your time, with your resources, or with your relationships—and that’s ok.

But don’t use that as an excuse to not invest in others.

Instead, do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.

Choose one cause to promote, one place to serve, or one person to mentor, and go DEEP not WIDE; go LONG-TERM not SHORT-TERM.

For more on this subject, check out this Andy Stanley talk

12/4/12: Idols

The idea of having idols never resonated with me until I read Tim Keller say, ”Idols give us a sense of being in control.”

I do have the habit of taking something good, clinging to it too tightly, and forgetting to cling only to God and embrace the change that comes with everything else. This year I started to call out the things I try to control as the idols they often become.

12/3/12: Resumés

This year I read Linchpin by Seth Godin, which encourages readers to refuse to serve as cogs in the wheel of capitalism but instead to become creative, thoughtful, and effective leaders that are integral to any team they join—linchpins.

The whole book is a pretty interesting and quick read, but one of the ideas that has stuck with me is Godin’s perspective on resumés. He argues that a resumé reduces one’s potential contribution to a single list of previous achievements and experiences, while a linchpin would instead possess a variety of immeasurable traits that a resumé would not be able to account for. Furthermore, not only would a “linchpin” not succumb to reducing his/herself to a resumé, but rather they would not have to. A linchpin’s work, reputation, and leadership would precede them…a linchpin does not look for an employer, an employer seeks out a linchpin.

This sounds incredibly idealistic and even ridiculous right? You freakin need a resumé.

But then I took a hard look at my own life and realized that only once did I receive a job by submitting a standard application (work-study office assistant in my department at USC). In every other job or internship, someone sought me out and gave me an opportunity to work for them because they had seen my integrity and work ethic in other arenas.

My current boss has never seen my resumé. In fact he literally said just last week, “What?! You double-majored in Spanish?”

Perhaps my take-away from this whole discussion is that one’s career isn’t the headers and bullet-points that fit inside one page of off-white linen paper—Instead it’s the thousands of conversations, emails, and brain-storming sessions…the encouragement shared with co-workers, extra hours to meet a deadline, courage to risk in a new way, the happy hour #realtalk, the menial details that almost never get noticed… the leadership to make tough decisions and to cast vision, the humility to do whatever needs to be done, and the constant aim for excellence.

12/2/12: The Job Search

In 2012, I set out on my very first full-time job search. And in a word, it was terrifying.

Even now, in a job I’m thankful for and learning a lot from, I know just how close I was to not finding anything at all. I learned a lot from that process that I’m gonna try to summarize:

  1. People must vouch for you—what I had accomplished on my own didn’t matter, unless the right people saw it and cared enough about me as a person to share it with others
  2. Be a proactive networker—people hire people they know and trust, so you have to utilize any connection you have to open doors and create opportunities
  3. The most important thing I learned was to be diligent with what I had, to be obedient with what I knew, and to not worry about what was uncertain or out of my control

12/1/12: Clothes.

Last fall my sister flew out to LA to visit me for Thanksgiving. One night I was complaining about how I had nothing to wear, and she stared me down, and in a commanding tone that rarely comes from Baby Katie, she said, “Stop Complaining. You have great clothes. People would kill for your closet.”

It’s not very often that my little sister puts me in my place, but her words inspired my New Year’s Resolution for 2012: Don’t buy any new clothes until you graduate.

Which I did. My family flew out in May, and we all went shopping for my graduation dress.

But come November, I realized that, other than some amazing dresses I received as gifts, my warddrobe-expanding purchases for the year are only as follows:

  1. A pair of espidrilles from Marshalls
  2. A pencil skirt I found at the Jewish Salvation Army (needs tailoring)
  3. A pair of black short boots, also from Marshalls

and that’s it.

Sure, I’m oddly proud of my will power. And I’ve seen poverty all over the world reminding me that having mulitple clean outfits is a blessing in itself. But I also gotta admit that I miss the feeling of new clothes.

It’s weird. Our relationship to fashion and wardrobe as a means of creativity and self expression is complex. It’s not about materialism vs. contentment. I suspect that it’s more about perceiving the version of ourselves that we strive to become and then using a medium to express that as accurately as possible. That seems to be the definition of style.

It’s weird to look in the mirror and know that I’ve spent an entire year wearing the exact same things I wore the year before. I’m not the same person as I was a year ago, and something inside me wishes I could express that through clothing and style.

Blame it on skewed social norms, but 2012 taught me that deep within my being, I really do like clothes.

2012 in Review: My Return to the Blogosphere

The other day I was sitting at my desk, making a spreadsheet or managing a project, and I realized how much I missed writing. Later in the day I realized that it was almost December…bringing a close to one of the most intriguingly pivotal years in my life. So although Tumblr and I have been estranged for a bit, I thought I’d use the last month of 2012 to 1.) jolt back into writing, and 2.) reflect on the variety of experiences I’ve learned from over the past 11 months.

So for the next 31 days, my goal is to write something—anything—about the life lessons that sum up my 2012.

Stay tuned.

Story on the Trip to Ghana I Organized :) This family is amazing.